Telkom ser­vice de­liv­ery

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - TREVOR WARD

BONGANI NZAMA IS wel­comed to the

club of dis­sat­is­fied Telkom cus­tomers as per his let­ter “Mo­nop­oly must be chal­lenged” ( Fin­week, 8 Fe­bru­ary).

The tele­phony ser­vice in Vry­heid, KZN, and par­tic­u­larly in the ad­join­ing rural ar­eas, has reached a low point. The fre­quency of down­time has in­creased and is longer than ever be­fore. With the slight­est in­clement weather, the ser­vice is lost.

The un­der­ground ca­bling, over­head lines and the town ex­change all re­quire up­grad­ing and mod­erni­sa­tion. The sys­tem must frus­trate the tech­ni­cians, many of whom are ex­cel­lent in their field and make ev­ery at­tempt to sat­isfy the cus­tomer but have to cope with re­pair­ing or rather patch­ing a rapidly de­cay­ing sys­tem.

In or­der to re­port a fault, you can travel – at a cost – from the farm to the Vry­heid Cus­tomer Ser­vice Cen­tre and use the free fault-re­port­ing phone. Al­ter­na­tively, you can use a cell­phone. Hav­ing lis­tened to all the call cen­tre jin­gles and jar­gon, waited for an in­def­i­nite time for the con­sul­tant and replied to the ab­surd ques­tions, the cost of the cell­phone call will never be less than R20 and this is not re­fund­able by Telkom. Us­ing a cell­phone to re­port the high num­ber of faults con­sumes a tidy sum of money ev­ery month.

And then Telkom’s in­ef­fi­ciency with re­gards to its fol­low-up SMS ser­vice, of­ten re­ceived a cou­ple of hours af­ter re­port­ing the fault – 10 pm – ad­vis­ing that the prob­lem had been at­tended to even though it could not have been. The ev­i­dence – a fallen tree had bro­ken the over­head wires.

Telkom’s In­ter­net speed in the rural area is in­vari­ably be­tween 6,9kps and 9,2kps and sel­dom reaches even 19,0kps while the ma­jor­ity of calls are dropped within one minute. In town, the land­line speed is 40,0kps. On the other hand, the cell­phone In­ter­net speed is in the or­der of a con­stant 480kps and calls are not dropped. This makes for ef­fi­ciency and cost sav­ing for the user.

There­fore farm­ers are can­celling the use­less Telkom tele­phony “ser­vice” and con­vert­ing to a re­li­able, ef­fi­cient and mo­bile means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion where two cell­phone con­tracts can be ob­tained for the same price. The loss of th­ese cus­tomers to Telkom re­sults in less main­te­nance, less trav­el­ling ex­penses, in­creased prof­its, in­creased pack­ages for the se­nior ex­ec­u­tives who do not have their feet on the ground, in­creased profit for share­hold­ers and the pos­si­bil­ity of tech­ni­cal staff re­trench­ments.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.